Otteran

(Also known as Odhran and Oran)

Born in Ireland in the fifth century, St. Otteran, nephew of St. Kevin and a descendant of Conall Gulban, founded many monasteries, mostly in southern Ireland. He may have founded the monastery at Leitrioch Odrain (Latteragh, Tipperary.) His name is especially connected with that of Magh-Armuidhe, now Adamstown, Wexford. Killotteran Parish, west of Waterford City, derives its name from the town land on which stood an ancient Church. The name itself is ecclesiastical, signifying the Church of Odran, or Otteran as it is more commonly Anglicised.

St. Otteran, an Abbot from Meath, is the principal patron of the Diocese of Waterford (though it is doubtful whether or not he had been Bishop to that See) was one of the 12 companions who sailed with Columba from Lough Foyle.

He died soon after the landing on Lona. His burying-place, the Realig Odhrain, later became also the burying-place for kings of Dalriada, Scotland and Norway. Scandinavian links with Lona explain the special place Otteran has as Patron of the See of Waterford which was founded by the Danes. Soon thereafter, Columba saw Otteran's soul ascending to heaven following a battle between angels and devils. He has given his name to Oronsay. His feast is kept throughout Ireland. Abbot Patron Saint - Waterford Diocese since 1056

Otteran’s death is recorded as being in 548 A.D. and his grave was greatly revered in Lona. It is said that he was the first person to be buried in the monastic cemetery of the Norsemen, whither they carried their dead chieftains and great men for burial from all parts of Europe. The Vikings chose Otteran, the titular guardian of their ancestors’ ashes, as Patron of the city of Waterford in 1096. Later he was chosen as Patron of the Diocese.

There has been much unnecessary discussion as to the identity of this Otteran. But the Irish Martyrologies tell us plainly enough that the saint of that name was a monk of Hy, a kinsman of St. Columba and that he worked in Iona evangelizing the people of Scotland.

An Annual Feast honoring St. Otteran is held on October 27th.